Feature geometry and verbal inflection

Elizabeth A. Cowper


This paper argues that the number of functional projections needed to account for clause structure can be significantly reduced if the elements of clausal inflection are analysed feature-geometrically. Specifically, Tense, Agreement and Aspect can be straightforwardly accounted for within a single IP, whose head is a dependency tree formally similar to those proposed for phonological segments. Each element in INFL has a consistent semantic interpretation, and its absence gives rise to a default interpretation. All logicallly possible structures are attested, and all verbal constructions in English are accounted for.


Verbal Inflection; Tense; Agreement; Aspect

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